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Communications Act 2003

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274Securing reception of must-provide services in certain areasE+W+S+N.I.
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The regulatory regime for—

(a)every licensed public service channel,

(b)the public teletext service, and

(c)every licensed television service added by order under section 275 to the list of must-provide services,

includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that arrangements satisfying the requirements of this section are entered into and maintained by all the persons who provide must-provide services.

(2)The conditions imposed on a person under this section may include the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing, in a case where—

(a)the persons providing must-provide services fail to enter into or maintain arrangements satisfying the requirements of this section, and

(b)OFCOM make and impose arrangements of their own instead,

that the person bound by the conditions is required to act in accordance with arrangements imposed by OFCOM.

(3)The arrangements that are to be entered into, or may be imposed, are arrangements that secure—

(a)that a facility for receiving each must-provide service is made available to every member of the intended audience for that service who is unable, without the use of that facility, to receive it in an intelligible form and free of charge;

(b)that the facility is one under which every such member of the intended audience for a must-provide service is entitled, free of charge, to receive in an intelligible form so much of a service broadcast from a satellite as includes that must-provide service;

(c)that the cost of making that facility available is shared, in appropriate proportions, by all the persons providing must-provide services;

(d)that procedures are established and maintained for dealing with complaints from persons claiming to be entitled, in accordance with the arrangements, to receive a service free of charge, and for resolving disputes about the existence or extent of such an entitlement;

(e)that the availability of those procedures is adequately publicised in accordance with guidance given from time to time by OFCOM.

(4)Arrangements entered into by the providers of must-provide services for the purposes of subsection (3), and any modifications of such arrangements made by the parties to them, are to have effect only if approved by OFCOM.

(5)Before imposing any arrangements for the purposes of a condition under subsection (2), OFCOM must consult all the persons who provide must-provide services.

(6)For the purposes of this section the reception of a service is not free of charge—

(a)if reception of the service is made conditional on the acceptance of an entitlement to receive another service in relation to which a charge is imposed (whether directly or indirectly);

(b)if a charge is made for or in connection with the provision of a service which is an ancillary service in relation to the service in question;

(c)if any consideration is required from the persons to whom it is made available for the provision of assistance for disabled people in respect of programmes included in the service; or

(d)if any other consideration is required to be given, by the person entitled to receive it, for or in connection with its provision or availability.

(7)A service is not prevented from being free of charge by a requirement to pay sums in accordance with regulations under section 365.

(8)The quality of reception that is required before someone is to be treated for the purposes of any conditions imposed under this section as able to receive a service in an intelligible form is to be determined by OFCOM.

(9)References in this section to a facility for receiving a must-provide service include references to—

(a)software to be used in giving effect to the entitlement to receive a must-provide service in an intelligible form, and

(b)apparatus to be used in associating apparatus capable of being used for receiving such a service, or for putting it into an intelligible form, with a person having such an entitlement,

but do not otherwise include references to apparatus.

(10)In this section—

  • intended audience”, in relation to a must-provide service, means—

    (a)

    if the service is one provided only for a particular area or locality of the United Kingdom, members of the public in that area or locality;

    (b)

    if the service is one provided for members of a particular community, members of that community; and

    (c)

    in any other case, members of the public in the United Kingdom;

  • licensed television service” means a service falling to be licensed under Part 1 of the 1990 Act or Part 1 of the 1996 Act;

  • must-provide service” means a service for the time being included in the list of must-provide services in section 275.

(11)An order under section 411 must not appoint a day for provisions of this section to come into force that falls less than six months after the day on which the order is made.

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